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והקמתי את בריתי אתך

But I will establish My covenant with you. (6:18)

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Rashi explains that the covenant/promise Hashem made with/to Noach was two-fold: the food supply in the Ark would not spoil; the reshaim, evil people of the generation, would do him no harm. He would safely live on the ark. The Brisker Rav, zl, makes an interesting observation. Noach was about to enclose himself on a traveling ark with representatives of every species of animal, wild beast and fowl. One would think that this would be considered a frightening experience. These were not domesticated pets. They were vicious wild animals. Noach did not seem to be afraid. Hashem had given him many assurances that the wicked people would not harm him and that there would be sufficient food in the storehouse for them. Scary. It is well-known that the lion attacked Noach because he was late with his dinner. Multiply that by thousands, and one can have an anxiety attack. It seems that Noach was not concerned.

The Rav explains that protection from clear and present danger was not necessary. Noach knew that Hashem would protect him. In order to ensure that the reshaim of that generation not attack the ark and kill him, however, Noach required a bris, covenant.

Horav Meshullam David Soloveitchik, Shlita, supplements his father’s remarks. Noach’s concern for the future was after the rain began, and the Flood was apparently imminent. When the reshaim clearly saw that their end was near, they were about to die, what was it that concerned them most? What were they involved in at this moment, when the shades of life were rapidly closing on them? To kill the tzaddik, Noach! Why? He was doing nothing to them. On the contrary; for one hundred and twenty years, he had done everything possible to convince them to alter their perverted way of life and repent. He warned them of the impending doom. They refused to listen. Now, they wanted to kill him, because he represented the truth – pure, unmitigated, unvarnished truth. This is a reality that the secular left cannot tolerate. Since they could not change the truth which was glaring them straight in the eyes, however, they wanted to kill the messenger. This has been the case throughout the millennia. Some things just do not change. They would rather quash the truth than concede that they were living a life of falsehood.

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